Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Should I be concerned about this or am I as mad as he says?(16 Posts)
I have posted before about my unhealthy relationship with my DS's father. I had some good advice for which I am really grateful. DS1 is now 20, DS2 15.
Some I couldn't/haven't done but have over the last year or so put into place. One was not facilitating his parenting any more - each time he rang, I got DS2 to speak to him. Bought him a phone and gave the number - doesn't use it. He still uses land line to call me but I would say - I'll put you on to him now ... That worked for a while.
Anyway, during lockdown and no school for DS2, father was ringing me, shouting at me about how we couldn't let him just drift. It was relentless tbh. Remembering the advice I had on mn, I made it quite clear that I was not going to be shouted at by him any more - I haven't been. I really have been trying to distance myself from his vitriol but it seems as though he's been let of the hook, so to speak.
He now doesn't ring at all, doesn't really do anything with DS2 (he does have a few issues and is adopted - think that's relevant in this) and in the last two/three weeks has seen him for 24 hrs, one day a week almost to the minute! Ds2 came back at 3 pm and I asked what he had been doing and he said nothing. Yesterday, he left at 3.10 pm. (Last week, he left 5 ish and was back the following day at 5.30 pm).
His family are different too which doesn't bother me particularly, but it feels like they put in the 'effort' when I was being 'good' and now that I've put these distances in place, they're not bothered about DS2.
I don't know whether I need to do anything or just let it go as it's taken almost 10 years to get this far but something seems off to me. As if my actions to create boundaries are having a detrimental effect on DS2.
I'm not sure if all this makes sense - it does to me obviously - it's difficult to say everything at once sometimes.
Am hoping some wise mners can give me some clarity.
Let it go. Do not poke the crocodile. It's bad enough being in a field with a crocodile - don't go poking it.
This is common with abusers - when one tactic (shouting) doesn't work, they'll try another one. whatever they think will work.
Don't let him get to you, don't give him another thought. the chances are that he will eventually completely cease contact with DS - he was only ever a tool to manipulate you with to this man.
Be a loving and caring mum, and if need be, let your son know that what his father does is all about his father, and says nothing about him.
Good luck xx
Yep let it go. Stick to your boundaries.
However he is with your son, he would be eventually as that is who he is.
Carry on being a loving mum. You can't control how your ex behaves but you can control not to tolerate it anymore.
It is his relationship with his child that will suffer. You ar8 not responsible for that, he is.
I’d agree let it go and just focus on being the loving mum you are
As PP has said your abusive xH used communication around parenting and access to constantly abuse you.
You have done brilliantly to put in boundaries. It takes a lot of time and effort to incrementally out them in and then to hold them tight.
You have done this and protected yourself
- you have also shown your DS your dignity and strength.
Don’t be unsettled by your abusive xH latest moves - they are no surprise. Also his family.
I think that maybe his withdrawal has dragged you back into a bit of FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) and you need to rid yourself of these feelings. Was gaslighting a feature of his abuse? Don’t doubt or second guess yourself. Know he was using your son to bully you.
Your son will be much better off emotionally detached from this character and his toxic family - he needs to be surrounded by positive radiant healthy balanced people so that he can sense and swerve difficult people in all of his RS. This is the best gift we can give our DCs.
What is your 20 year olds RS like with his DF?
How is DS 15 feeling about this? He needs to be told in a calm and objective way that his DF behaviour has always been challenged - this is who he is - and DS should not take it personally and has no obligation to tolerate it. He should know his own self worth and boundaries.
Thank you so much for your replies. It means a lot and helps me to see and deal with things more clearly.
I think DS2 can see/feel that DS1 is favoured. They share a hobby which DS2 doesn't. I have posted before about my discomfort with DS1's relationship with his father and I have done what I was advised - just be there for him, not to interfere in their relationship and just model good behaviour (for want of a better word.) He's old enough now to deal with his father himself although I still worry about things sometimes.
A few years ago I suggested that the 4 of us did something once a month - anything - walk, lunch, whatever just so DS2 could be included in things. He said no to that.
I was so angry when his family went for a pre Christmas meal and didn't include him. I just got - of course he's invited, don't be so daft - well then why is he not going then? They didn't bloody want him there, that's why.
After I posted yesterday, I had a call from xh to say he was worried that DS2 didn't want to spend any time with him and could I have a word with him. You couldn't make it up could you?
If I tell father the truth, he won't like that and I think we may be back to square one. I need to move forward with DS2 for his wellbeing I know that. I have been given a number for a Family support group and will ring them on Tuesday.
Thank you again for your confirmation that i am doing the right thing by him. It's really difficult but it feels right.
Thank your lucky stars that he and his family will do the barest minimum damage to your son through their absence. Be boring, and continue to let it all drift.
Sounds like your ex is more invested in maintaining contact with you than your DS.
Keep the boundaries up. It's for the best, as no kid is ever going to benefit from being used as a way to get to their mother.
I can do boring (maybe too well). Can I ask why you think I should do that? I've been trying to 'go with the flow' for a few months now and that resonated with me.
@Mitzik - what in my post has made you say that? You are not the first to mention it.
@Guardsman18 it's clear to an outsider that he just wants contact with you.
Worried about DS2 drifting, what will ranting at you achieve? What would have taking a direct interest in DS2 and doing some work with him achieved?
You've refused to tolerate the nasty phone calls so he's withdrawn contact to punish you, he expected you to come running and beg him to see more of DS2.
That didn't work so now he is using his withdrawal to home in on your weak spot with Faux concern for DS2.
It's all a control game with him...
He can't fathom out how to have contact with you now you have put boundaries in so he's working his way down a new list of tactics...
Bloody hell, I'm so crap at this. What do I do?
After a long and quite frankly boring (for me) phone call on the weekend where it seemed like a good idea that DS2 went for tea on Wednesday and make him feel wanted etc. DS1 has a bit of a problem with work etc, ex rings me - usual stuff - wanting me to say that DS2 needn't go to his. I didn't as I felt that it was important that DS2 went tonight.
He started screaming at me (put the phone down), he rang back and I gave phone to DS2 who then handed it back to me!
I honestly don't know now whether to insist that he goes there? I had a nice chat with DS2 earlier saying that if dad got angry/started shouting, then he should say that he doesn't want to listen and that he's coming home.
Then DS1 came on shouting - what do you want for tea, Dad's asking - this is the tea that I thought was planned from Saturday.
Dear God - I don't think I can take much more. Honestly. Any advice please?
I really don't understand why you are having discussions with him?
He can arrange contact direct with the DS' you don't need to be involved 🤷🏽♀️ tell him to email you and then hang up...
I agree with Random - your 15 year old should be making arrangements with his DF directly.
However you should advise him that if feels uncomfortable or bullied by his DF or DB he can leave at any time.
I'm sure you don't get involved in him meeting up with his mates, it's no different.
I agree in supporting him in his choice to go or not.
You need to shut all conversations down and email only, sure your ex will not be as nasty in writing... no obligation to reply to the emails anyway!
Thanks for replies. I do get involved with his meetings with friends though - he only has one and is quite young for his age and friend is not local enough to walk to meet up. Thought that would give a bit more perspective.
Anyway, I know now that his dad can only 'care' about him by talking through things/shouting at me. Very odd man!
Urgh it's not about DS it's about him belittling you. Just block him....
Please login first.